How to Host an Adult Game Night
My Brain: Alright, this is it. It is game night at your house this weekend. Oh $#!* it is game night at your house this weekend! I need to go to the grocery store. Did Liz say she was bringing drinks? Was Danny the one that said he didn’t like the chips we brought? I wonder if Andy can pick out the game, last time I picked it didn’t go well. Brad was Googling “ice cream places near me” at the end of the night – should I make dessert? Okay brain, we can do this!
Maybe the rotation of game night has finally landed at your doorstep and the panic of hosting has finally set in. Don’t worry, I’ve been there. Literally my brain has gone through all the stages of panic trying to plan for every situation. Since I’ve gone through all the panic, you don’t have to! I’ve put together a great list of ideas on how to plan your next game night.
Send the invite
Invite your friends (or family) to your game night but be aware of the amount of people being invited. Are couples coming, only singles, or maybe a mixture of both? You’ll want to make sure you have enough people to either play a game individually or you can pair off into teams evenly. You never want to have that 1 person that doesn’t have a partner and is the odd one out. Definitely a party downer.
Set the lineup
When picking the games make sure you factor in the number of people coming to your game night. Again, you don’t want to have that 1 person that doesn’t have a partner or there aren’t enough options to allow for a group of a larger size. Picking the game(s) ahead of time also prevents any night-of battle for who is picking the game. It is your night to host so pick your favorite or games you know the whole group will enjoy. *My Brain: Danny hates when we play “that one game” so let’s definitely play it. Just kidding.*
The Back-up Plan
Have some back-up game options ready to go in case there are is change of plans. Your friend may get sick or your friends plus one decided to bail. Either way, make sure you have an optional card game or group game ready to go.
Let the party simmer
*My Brain: Okay, everyone is here so let’s get this started. I’ll sit here, Andy will sit there…No, why is Danny standing over there?! I need a refill on my wine. Has Liz even gotten a drink yet?* Don’t dive right into game plan once your party has arrived. Let everyone have a chance to mingle, get a drink or two, and strategize their internal game-play plan.
Set the stage
Different games call for different set-ups. If you are playing a game that requires players moving their individual pieces it might be best to set-up at a table where players can easily access their pieces. Maybe you are planning a fun-filled evening filled with drinking games. If so, a cleared off coffee table might do the trick! Don’t worry about setting out the nice table runner with your artfully crafted array of vintage trinkets – they will just get in the way. Additionally, you’ll want to factor in the number of people playing. Gathering around the coffee table makes it easy for everyone to get comfortable and provides an open enough space to allow for free-flowing game-play.
Dinner is served
*My Brain: I need to make something that is gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, soy-free, fruit-free, fish-free, and serves 6. Tequila.* Of course you want to take into account any dietary restrictions your guests may have but don’t stress over it. Maybe suggest a pot-luck and everyone bring their favorite appetizer. Also let your guests know if they should or shouldn’t bring a certain item (specifically something that might be messing.) As well, you may want to consider the clean-up post-party. With a small group (4-6) it is pretty easy to clean up a few dishes but with a group of (6-10) it might be better to splurge on the disposable plates, cups, and silverware.
Sweeten the winnings
It is the end of the night, game play is tight and you have that craving for some sweet victory. *My Brain: When everyone leaves we are tearing into that leftover cake.* Offer your guests a sweet little something at the end of the night. It doesn’t have to be anything grand like a table-side bananas foster but maybe like a plate of cookies, tray of brownies, or just a bowl of M&Ms.
Yes, I’ll have another
This is an adult game night so you need to make sure and have plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available. Maybe establish a BYOB rule and offer soft drinks or an alternative alcoholic option for your guests. Allow for pauses in game play for guests to refresh their drinks, take a break, and stock up on snacks before rolling the dice again. Nothing more frustrating than having to pause multiple times because Andy has to go to the bathroom again.
See hosting your own game night will be a breeze! I’ve felt all the pain points and figured out how to adapt overtime to ensure for a seamless night of fun. Now it is your turn!
My Brain: I’m so glad Liz brought those extra drinks. Danny even liked the spicy chips we put out. Brad looovvveeedd the brownies I made – the secret ingredient is always peanut butter. Andy picked the perfect set of games for us to play and we all had a great time! Can’t wait to host game night again!